Oceanography News

A Hugin AUV being launched (Courtesy Kongsberg)

Unmanned Vehicles: 25 Years of Milestones

a vehicle series known as the Odyssey Class. These were roughly 21 inches in diameter and about 2 meters long. They were designed to dive as deep as 6,000 meters but be relatively affordable and easy to deploy. These vehicles supported many science missions including under-ice work in the Arctic and oceanography in the Antarctic. A key program supported by these vehicles, sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), was known as the Autonomous Ocean Sampling Network. This pioneered designs for docking AUVs. Experiments in seafloor mapping and mine hunting were also conducted during the first ten years

Walter Munk, 2017 (Photo: Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego)

Walter Munk: 1917-2019

Walter Munk, who gave the Allies a strategic edge in World War II, helped nurture a university into existence, and became a living synonym for oceanography, died February 8 at his home in La Jolla, Calif. He was 101.As a geophysicist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego, Munk made groundbreaking observations of waves, ocean temperature, tidal energy in the deep ocean, ocean acoustics and the rotation of the earth. As an advocate of science and broader scholarship, Munk served as an advisor to presidents and the Pentagon and conferred with public figures

Photo: L3 ASV

C-Enduro Delivered to Royal Navy

to be delivered by the MHC program,” said Alex du Pre, MHC Team Lead at Defense Equipment and Support.This project marks the fourth delivery of a C-Enduro vessel, and previous successful missions include an 11-day over-the-horizon marine science mission north of Scotland for the National Oceanography Center

Photo: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Waters West of Europe Drive Ocean Overturning

from the float data,” Bower said. “There haven’t been many measurements of current pathways in the deep ocean anywhere, and none at all of the deepest waters of the northern North Atlantic.”  Primary funding came from the U.S. National Science Foundation’s Physical Oceanography Program and the United Kingdom’s Natural Environment Research Council. Additional funding came from the European Union 7th Framework Program and Horizon 2020.Co-authors hailed from Duke; the U.K.’s National Oceanography Center; Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; the Scottish Association

The New Jersey Wind Energy Area, where hundreds of wind turbines may eventually be built, is shaded green and brown. Image: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, U.S. Department of the Interior

Sea Breeze Study May Aid US Wind Farm Developers

make them a more predictable source of energy," said a press release from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.The behavior of offshore sea breezes, and how the ocean influences them, have largely been mysteries until now, said lead author Greg Seroka, who earned a doctorate in physical oceanography at Rutgers and is a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientist.“We’ve developed a technique to characterize and predict sea breezes, which could be critically beneficial for offshore wind turbine construction planning, operations and maintenance – and help make

Zooglider (top) with a selection of zooplankton imagery the robot has captured. Top photo: Benjamin Whitmore

New Robot Can Sense Plankton Optically and Acoustically

A team of biological and physical oceanographers and engineers have modified a common physical oceanography instrument to be able to image zooplankton as it glides through the ocean.The robot, a first-of-its-kind sensing instrument dubbed Zooglider by Mark Ohman, a biological oceanographer at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego, uses as its platform a Scripps-developed glider known as Spray. Ohman and Scripps instrument developers outfitted the torpedo-shaped Spray gliders with a camera (called Zoocam) and a device researchers call Zonar that gathers acoustic

Gulf of Mexico Sea-surface altitude indicating surface current speed (Image: Louisiana State University / NOAA)

New Research on Gulf of Mexico Loop Current

Carolina State University in cooperation with Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada (Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education at Ensenada), Chevron, Florida State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and University of California – Santa CruzPassive Gulf of Mexico Loop Current Observations from HF Radar Across the Yucatan StraitThis project will procure, install, and operate high frequency radar systems to measure surface currents at two locations in the Yucatan Channel region of the

Fig. 1: Teledyne RDI ADCP attached to a hydrographic package before lowering to great depths. Credit: J. Lemus (U. Hawaii). https://goo.gl/VfvYn1

Full-Depth Current Profiling Around the Global Ocean

choices about deep motions. When added to an inverse model, the LADCP data constrain possible solutions for the missing deep currents.Fig. 5: LADCP data show the deep extent of the Great Whirl, a large intense gyre off Somalia.Units: Depth(m), Distance(deg). Credit: T. Chereskin (Scripps Inst. Oceanography) https://goo.gl/WsmhuVLong-Term SectionsFor two decades, German researchers have monitored boundary currents off Canada at 53°N. Across their persistent section defined by 3–5 moorings, the scientists repeated 12–15 LADCP stations during 13 cruises. As a result, data from 150 LADCP

(Photo: NOC)

Exploring Deep-seafloor Mineral Deposits

A new project funded by the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC), and led by Professor Bramley Murton at the National Oceanography Center (NOC), will aim to reduce the potential environmental impact of future subsea mining by making exploration for deep-seafloor mineral deposits much more effective.Many deep-seafloor mineral deposits, which can provide vital new metals for emerging technologies, including those that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, were formed by hot springs on the seafloor. The big question facing geologists is whether these deposits – the vast majority of which

The frame and instruments as they were when they washed up. Photo: NOC

Lost @ Sea: Missing Equipment Washes Up Five Years Later

After going missing on Christmas Day five years ago, deep ocean measuring equipment belonging to the UK’s National Oceanography Center (NOC) has just been found on a beach in Tasmania by a local resident after making a 14,000 km journey across the ocean.In 2011, this deep-ocean lander instrument was deployed by NOC scientists in the northern Drake Passage, which is a narrow section of the ocean between South America and Antarctica. Measuring ocean bottom pressure here helps provide information on the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, which is the largest ocean current in the world. The instrument

Photo: Schmidt Ocean Institute

Subsea Robotics: SOI Mission Discovers New Hydrothermal Vent and Species

Institute of Technology, and David Caress from MBARI, along with scientists from Oregon State University, the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, the Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada (CICESE), and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, demonstrated the multi-disciplinary use of submarine robotics while investigating an area of unique geologic activity where submarine volcanism in heavily sedimented basins results in high temperature venting with unusual chemistry and geology.The nested-scale mapping approach allowed the team

© Graphithèque/AdobeStock

NATO Uses IoT to Study the Oceans

buoys and setting them afloat in the Mediterranean and in Arctic waters to monitor surface drift behaviour. SPOT Trace tracks the movement of these ‘drifters’ and transmits their position data over Globalstar’s Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite network.  The CMRE carries out oceanography and ocean acoustics studies as part of innovative and field-tested Science & Technology (S&T) solutions to address defense and security needs of the NATO Alliance. The data is helping CMRE to measure and understand sea currents with the aim of gaining a deeper understanding of the changing

© Mykola Mazuryk / Adobe Stock

India Plans Deep Dive for Seabed Minerals

of organisms and creatures have evolved over millions of years, free of wild currents, sunlight, vibrations and noise which mining would bring, said Mahapatra, managing editor of the New Delhi-based science and environment magazine Down To Earth.According to a 2017 study by Britain's National Oceanography Center, mining experiments at seven sites in the Pacific Ocean showed the amount and diversity of marine life was reduced "often severely and for a long time".Sediment plumes and disturbance caused by mining could wipe out habitats for slow-growing corals and fish, Mahapatra said.It

MATE At-Sea Internship Opportunity

Africa; and Montevideo, Uruguay (cruise plans are still in development.)Internship projects will vary from one cruise to another and correspond to the cruise objectives set by the lead scientists for each cruise. Previous interns have worked on cruises to support science projects ranging from chemical oceanography, marine biology, GIS/bathymetric surveys (seafloor mapping), geological studies, work with ROVs and much more! The position will last approximately six months and the intern will receive a stipend of $500 per week, plus reimbursement for travel expenses and housing - mostly aboard one of the research

Photo courtesy of Planet Ocean Ltd.

Royal Navy Supports Successful Trial of New Micro-Robots

ecoSUB, has been successfully trialed in the North Sea off Orkney during a marine robot demonstrator mission coordinated by the National Oceanography Center (NOC).ecoSUB is a new type of Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) developed by Planet Ocean in partnership with the NOC. The vehicles are around 0.5 meters in length and weigh only 4 kg, and are therefore classified as 'micro-AUVs'. Despite their small size, they are capable of diving to 500 m (2500m for ecoSUB-m25) and have sufficient battery power to stay underwater for several hours.Two of the new ecoSUB-µ5-SVP vehicles were

Image: Sonardyne

Sonardyne Leads AUV Collaboration Project

for Persistent AUVs (P3AUV) project is to enable AUVs to operate at high levels of navigation performance with less surface support and for longer periods.The provider of underwater acoustic, inertial, optical and sonar technology said in a release that with partners L3 ASV and the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), Sonardyne will focus on longer-term navigational accuracy for AUVs in deep water, while reducing power requirements and increasing autonomy in marine operations.The P3AUV project will involve trials using Sonardyne’s leading underwater positioning technology on the NOC&rsquo

Photo: Oregon State University

Construction Starts on OSU's Research Ship

; authorized as much as $365 million for the project as part of the NSF’s Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction portfolio.“NSF is proud that the research vessel Taani will be the flagship for a new class of research vessels, and eagerly anticipates decades of productive oceanography from Taani to support the nation’s science, engineering and education needs,” says Terrence Quinn, director of the NSF’s Division of Ocean Sciences, which is funding the new vessel.During the summer of 2017, the NSF awarded OSU a grant of $121.88 million to launch the construction

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